Our thanks goes to Glenys Bolland of Australia for telling us about the existence of these letters and transcribing them so we can all study and enjoy them. Given the condition of the images she had to work with, she did an amazing job in transcribing these letters.
Letters from James Glassford Hopkirk, Esq.,  to his Uncle James Glassford, Esq., and letters from James Glassford  to Sir George Murray all in the first half of the year 1830.
James Glassford Hopkirk had recently(in 1828) become an "Advocate"(The Scottish equivalent of a Barrister) and he was hoping to get a position overseas with the British Government. These letters help explain what was going on in James' life.

Following are Glenys Bolland's notes regarding the four letters: [Notes: (i) There are at least 4 letters inside this file; [February x 2, May, July] (ii) State Lib of Qld in 2012 does not hold copies of these letters in their microfiched CO323/137 files which should contain the letters.  Neither does the A.N.U. in Canberra.  i.e. Wrong pages of the CO files were mistakenly copied by someone at 1 of those or a UK library, when all these files were copied in the U.K. for Australia in 1988 as part of the Australian bi-centenary gift to AustraliaCanberra will try to get correct copies of the file with these letters from the UK]. (iii) I only photocopied 1 or 2 pages of the 1830 ?July 13 letter in 1974/1983, so the following is only a short extract of the July 1830 letter. (iv)The May 5, 1830 letter of James Hopkirk is complete. (v) The February 11, 1830 letter from James Glassford to George Murray is not complete.  Only page 1 was photocopied and included here.(vi) The February 8, 1830 letter: I do not have a photocopy of any of the 8.2.1830 letter.  ?just made notes of content of letter, when I was at the archives.   To view copies of the actual letters click on the following links: Letter dated 8 February 1830 from James Hopkirk to his Uncle James Glassford (no copy available)  Letter dated 11 February 1830 from James Glassford, Esq. to Sir George Murray. Letter dated 5 May 1830 from James Hopkirk to James Glassford, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.  Letter dated 13 July 1830 from James Glassford to Sir George Murray. Last Page. Note. (Early pages of 13 July 1830 letter are missing.)  There may be ? marks in the transcriptions below, meaning the words are not clear.

The first letter is dated 8 February 1830, unfortunately we do not have a copy of this letter. Gratefully, Glenys Bolland was able to make a few notes about this letter:

1830 February 8: Letter from James Hopkirk, of 8 St. Vincent Place, Edinburgh, to his uncle James Glassford esq, of Dugalstoun, 47 Conduit Street, Bond Street,London.  The letter said he had passed the civil law.

1830 February 11: Summary of letter from Glassford to Sir George Murray states (page 375 of UK file CO323/137?) … James is the son of Glassford’s sister(Mrs. Christian Glassford Hopkirk) …and was for some time at Scotch bar …Page 375 states:

Following is a transcription of the 11 February 1830 letter by Glenys Bolland

            “… My dear Sir George,  Will you be kind enough to look at the enclosed. It is from my nephew, son of my sister, Mrs. Hopkirk, who has been for some time at the Scotch bar, a young man of respectable talents, industrious habits and excellent character and deportment.  Owing to reverses in his father’s fortune, he has no patrimony … his profession and from the difficulty of advancing at the bar among the multitude of competition .. he has for some years been very anxious to seek any means of …”

It appears that James Glassford also sent James Hopkirk's letter of 8 February 1830 to Sir George Murray along with James Glassford's letter of 11February 1830.

Following is the transcript of James Hopkirk's letter to his Uncle James Glassford dated 5 May 1830, and it also appears that James Glassford forwarded this letter to Sir George Murray with his letter dated 11 July 1830 further below.

Glenys' note: "presumably the following 4 page letter from James Hopkirk was attached to the CO323/137 letter written by Glassford in July 1830, above, because the 3rd page of the following letter is numbered 443."

“ …[To]: James Glassford, esq. Dugaldstoun, 47 Conduit Street, Bond StreetLondon    [from]  8 St. Vincent Place,  Edinburgh   5 May, 1830

To my Dear Uncle,  It has given us all here much uneasiness to hear that you have had so severe an attack of illness. I hear you have been exerting yourself about the ?situation ?about  business and that your too long continuance in London has been disadvantageous to you.  It gives us however, much pleasure to learn that the attack has now left you, and that you ?mean  speedily to quit London for some time, which I trust will have the affect of completely restoring your health and strength as well as that of Mrs.
Glassford, who I am sure must have suffered much from anxiety during your indisposition.

I have not sooner answered your kind and most ? interested and satisfactory letter; because I wished, as you desired, to consider its contents for some time and afterwards, hearing you were so unwell, I was unwilling to trouble you.  As however, I am glad to find you are now better, I write this, that you may receive it before leaving London.  I must entirely and completely answer ?in everything you said to Sir G. Murray on my account; and after what you have said, and done, it will be unnecessary for me to trouble you further than by a few remarks by way of answer to the queries which you more particularly put to me.  The first thing you want particularly to know is, whether my mind is perfectly made up to ?go abroad, should a situation occur?  I have no hesitation in answering this in the affirmative.  I do not see any prospect of bettering my condition here; and as I have ?just the slightest chance of any situation in this country, I ?would not in the least, hesitate to accept, if one to ?which moderate emolument and prospects were attached, abroad. 

With regard to whether I should accept of one in the West Indies, at least in ?those of them which are least prejudicial to Europeans, as Demerara [= a region in Guyana] I must candidly say, that I would feel ?some ?considerable reluctance to encounter the climate.  I do not think that my constitution is fitted for it; and I feel certain my friends, particularly my mother, would have more objections to my going there, than to any other place, and I certainly should not much like it myself.  While however, I candidly state this, I do not mean to say that I would inany event, refuse any situation which might be offered me there – far from it.  I only mean to say that I ?would prefer a situation in any other quarter.  With regard to New South Wales or Van Diemens Land, you were perfectly right in supposing I should not refuse a situation there, should nothing less distant occur.  You are aware I have, in some years past, turned a good deal of my attention to these countries; and I would have no objection whatever, to go to either of them, ?if any situation occurs.  The distance, no doubt, is a drawback, but I do not consider ……..excuse.  as it merely lengthens the voyage, out and in, which is not likely to occur often in one’s life; and if one is to leave their friends at all, it is of little consequence whether they are separated by a distance which requires a voyage of two [2]  months or of four.  Both equally preclude the possibility and … while abroad.  The same remark applies just as to distance, but as to my willingness … applies to the Canadas, which I should have no objection to whatever.   Had I ?therefore, my choice, the following countries, I should name them in the order of my preference as under:  The Cape; New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land; Canada. 

I perfectly feel the force of what you state, as to my previous Education ?setting me for a judicial situation in one of these colonies originally belonging to the Dutch.  I am aware that in New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land and Canada, the law is English, which would ?benefit my receiving a law appointment, but I am not at all wedded to the law, which at the time I embraced it, I ?adopted it principally because no other ?opening at that time was … ?eligible here – because my father (whose circumstances were then very different) was then, averse to my going abroad, but I do not think there are many situations which I would refuse, provided I could by care and attention, make myself master – and the duties required by those filling them, are … satisfied that I were capable of performing them in … a manner as government would have reason to expect.
With regard to emolument, I perfectly ?concur in what you say.  I shall not add a word.

As to my ?temper, I hope I can, with a safe conscience, say that what you were so good as to state regarding me, is correct.  You are aware, from the principles of  all my friends, the opinions instilled into me from my ……………and I have seen nothing else, to make me change them; and I am ?since  all who know me will say, that I am neither quarrelsome, nor likely to be instrumental in creating dissentions; and I may only add that should I be so fortunate as to obtain a situation in acts of the Colonies, it would be my inclination, as it certainly would be my duty, and ?career, so far as in me lay, to ,,, the inhabitants satisfied with the British government; and I trust if I did not perform the duties of my situation, whatever they might be, well, it would at least not be from want of inclination and anxiety.

I have only further to add, that in stating what I have done above, I neither mean to dictate the place or nature of any situation I would accept, but merely mention t
hose to which I would not object. 

ay I beg to return you my sincerest thanks for the trouble you have taken on my account; and in hopes of hearing good accounts of your health.  With love to you and Mrs. Glassford.  I remain, My dear Uncle, ever your affectionate nephew. 

James Hopkirk.         All friends are well.   …”

Following is the tranxcription of the last page of the letter dated 13 July 1830 from James Glassford, Esq.,  to Sir George Murray. It is believed the letter written above by James Hopkirk and dated 5 May 1830 was the letter included with this letter to Sir George, based on the transcription below..

Glenys' notes: (1830 ?July 13:   File: CO323/137 pages 440 - . 1830 July 13:  Letter from James Glassford, Cambray Street, Cheltenham to Sir George Murray [?Colonial Secretary]. File CO323/137. Page 440 states:)

transcription: starting on the last page:
“…the judicial (Civil Law branch) or the Administrative.  I have every reason to think     that his prudence and good conduct as well as capacity would justify my commending him to your notice – and you would confer a peculiar favour upon me, who know from the circumstances of this family, how important
it is to him if possible to be put in the way of obtaining an independence.  I do not mean, by escaping from labor, but being let into a field for it.

The enclosed letter which he wrote to me 2 months ago on the subject, will, if you should find a leisure minute to peruse it, shows something of his own views and disposition.  I avoided ?contacting you firstly in London on this subject while you were engaged with so much parliamentary as well as official business.  If you find an opportunity after the breaking up of parliament, and the present stir has subsided, you will perhaps be so good as let me know whether you think it probable that you may be able to forward my nephew’s object, and my wishes on his account,   Believe me, my dear sir George, always yours affectionately, James Glassford…”

? in same letter, the following page:
“…Hopkirk’s age is 26.  He passed Advocate in 1828.  You will not, I hope, suppose from this communication that I intend or would think of, urgent this application from a ?friend or with improper importunity upon your notice"

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This page was last updated on 26 November 2013